Outdoor Watering

Watering the Landscape


Irrigation System Tips  Water Hose/Hand Watering Tips  Conservation Rebates  Watering Schedule  Contact Us

Over-watering results in shallow roots and encourages weeds, disease, and fungus growth! Yikes! Also, did you know that the more you water your lawn, the more it becomes dependent on that water?

Follow these smart watering tips to establish a drought-tolerant lawn whether you use a water hose or have an irrigation system.

Automatic Irrigation Systems

Typical irrigation systems can use anywhere between 500 – 5,000+ gallons of water each time it waters the yard! This large range is based on yard size, depth and type of soil, type of sprinkler heads, and run-time (to name a few!). This makes it difficult to provide a one size fits all answer for how much water it takes to water your yard.

Irrigation System Tips and Advice:
  • Check for available irrigation rebates.
  • Get the most out of your system – schedule a Free Irrigation System Evaluation.
  • Schedule watering for each zone separately – consider the type of sprinkler, sun/shade exposure, soil type, and plant requirements.
  • Turn system off prior to a rain event. Leave off for several days if more than 1/2 an inch of rain.
  • Consider climate or soil moisture sensor-based controllers that automatically adjust the watering schedule based on weather or soil moisture conditions.
  • Set system to run for three, 5-minute intervals – soil absorbs more than watering for 15 minutes straight.
  • Water before 12 noon or after 7 p.m.
  • Follow these water tips and irrigation schedules to help lower your water bill.
  • Evaluate your system with these instructions.
  • Adjust water schedule seasonally:
    • Summer – no more than twice per week, if needed
    • Spring/Fall – 1/2 of the summer schedule (once per week, as needed)
    • Winter – turn system off and water manually if needed. Leaving it on affects your utility bill all year.


Free Irrigation System Evaluation

If you’re a direct City water customer (sorry, MUD customers are not eligible), schedule a free irrigation system evaluation by contacting Jessica Woods via email or at 512-671-2872.  During the evaluation, staff will:
  • determine how many gallons are used with your current watering schedule;
  • provide a recommended watering schedule; and
  • make recommendations if any system upgrades are needed.

Please note staff will not make repairs.

Water Hose and Hand Watering Tips

How to tell if your lawn needs watering…
  • Landscape can (and should) tolerate some stress, this helps build up its drought tolerance. An easy way to see if your lawn needs water is to walk across it. If you can still see your footprints after 15 seconds then it needs water.
When is the best time to water?
  • Water before noon or after 7 p.m. Evaporation losses are up to 60% higher during the heat of the day.
  • Avoid watering on windy days as most of the water will be blown elsewhere. Wind speeds tend to be lower when the sun is down–another reason to water at night.
How Often?
  • Summer – no more than twice per week, if needed.
  • Spring/Fall – no more than once a week, if needed.
  • Winter – only water if needed (once a month manually, then turn back off).
How Much?
  • Water grass to a depth of 4-6″, this allows roots to grow deeper which increases its drought tolerance.
  • It only takes 1/2″ of water to penetrate to this depth. To determine how long it takes to water 1/2″ watch this video.
Handy Devices:
  • Drip and soaker hoses, or individual spray emitters are ideal for keeping water close to the roots, rather than spraying into the air and on the leaves.
  • Hose timer can be used on your garden hose to set how long you want it to run.  When the time ends, the hose timer stops water from coming out of the hose, however you’ll still need to turn the water off at the spigot. 

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Outdoor Watering Schedule

The City recommends you follow the Outdoor Watering Schedule even when no drought restrictions are in effect. The best time to water is before 12 noon or after 7 p.m. The watering schedule is voluntary unless drought restrictions are in place – see current drought restrictions.

Drought Stages:
  • No drought restrictions – Stage 1 Watering Schedule is recommended; however it is voluntary.
  • Stage 1 – Watering is ONLY allowed on designated days and during appropriate hours.
  • Stage 2 – Watering is ONLY allowed on designated day and during appropriate hours.
  • Stage 3 – Only hand-held watering allowed.
  Stage 1 Watering Days
Stage 2 Watering Days
Odd numbered address Wednesday and/or Saturday Saturday
Even numbered address Thursday and/or Sunday Sunday
Commercial/Multifamily Tuesday and/or Friday Friday
Water Conservation
Jessica Woods
Phone: 512.671.2872